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Washington at Milwaukee

Venue: Miller Park
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After losing, then regaining the NL East lead at home over the weekend, the Washington Nationals hope to maintain that advantage by ending their current road slide.

That likely won't be easy as they try to avoid a fifth consecutive road defeat Monday night against the NL-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who seek their fifth straight victory.

Washington (39-35) dropped the first two of a four-game set with Atlanta to fall one-half game behind the Braves, but held them to one run in winning the final two to take a 1 1/2-game lead into Milwaukee.

"We want to win (Monday's) game. (Sunday) is over," manager Matt Williams told the Nationals' official website. "If we do the things correctly on the field, we have a chance to win. Every game presents new challenges."

Facing the Brewers (47-30) in a matchup of first-place teams presents a serious challenge for the Nationals, who hit .168 while being outscored 17-4 during their four-game road skid.

"It's never easy in this league," said Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is hitting .128 (5 for 39) with eight strikeouts in his last 10 road contests. "You have to go into every series and try and win the series."

Zimmerman is 3 for 10 against Milwaukee's Matt Garza (4-4, 4.02 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his last five outings with only nine of the 17 runs he's allowed during that span earned. He gave up three runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-3 loss at Arizona on Wednesday.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.41 ERA in four starts against the Nationals, but has not faced them since 2012.

Milwaukee scored 51 runs and homered 11 times while going 6-1 at Arizona and Colorado. Aramis Ramirez went 14 for 28 with nine runs scored, four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs on the trip.

The Brewers are a major league-best 27-15 on the road, compared to 20-15 at home.

"We've played pretty well on the road but you're always looking forward to go home," Ramirez said after Sunday's 6-5 win over the Rockies. "We're looking for a great homestand.''

Teammate Carlos Gomez has reached base in a major league-leading 35 straight games and is batting .325 during an 18-game hitting streak. However, he's 4 for 32 with 13 strikeouts in his last 11 home games versus Washington and 1 for 7 with a double against starter Gio Gonzalez (3-4, 4.85).

In his first start since missing a month with shoulder inflammation, Gonzalez allowed four runs, five hits, walked three and struck out six in five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-5 win over Houston on Wednesday.

Though the left-hander is 0-3 with a 6.46 ERA in six starts since beating St. Louis on April 18, Gonzalez is just happy to be back on the mound with a chance to turn things around.

''(The last start is) something to learn from, dust the cobwebs off a little bit and get back at it,'' Gonzalez said. ''It's definitely a work in progress.''

Gonzalez's only previous appearances against Milwaukee came in 2012, when he went 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

G. Gonzalez
Washington 2014 stats Milwaukee
0-2 Wins-Losses 1-0
12.1 Innings Pitched 20.2
11.68 Earned Run Average 2.61
8 Walks 6
14 Strikeouts 6
2.35 WHIP 1.26

M. Garza
Probable Pitchers
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington2nd NL East6965.51556-4 W 3
Milwaukee4th NL Central5875.43627 ½ 5-5 W 4
 
 

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Washington
PlayerInjury
A. BarrettElbow
D. CarpenterShouler
R. JohnsonFoot, Oblique
N. McLouthShoulder
D. SpanHip
C. StammenForearm
S. StrasburgBack
M. TaylorKnee
Milwaukee
PlayerInjury
M. BlazekHand
T. CravyElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 20MILCIN 6-1DeSclafani Peralta 
Apr 21MILCIN 16-10Marquis Fiers 
Apr 22MILCIN 2-1Cueto Rodriguez 
Apr 23MILMIL 4-2Lohse Gregg 
Apr 27CINCIN 9-6Marquis Nelson 
Apr 28CINCIN 4-2Cueto Lohse 
Apr 29CINMIL 8-3Garza Lorenzen 
Jul 3CINMIL 12-1Fiers Lorenzen 
Jul 4CINMIL 7-3Nelson Smith 
Jul 5CINMIL 6-1Jungmann Leake 
Aug 28MILMIL 5-0Jungmann Iglesias 
Aug 29MILCIN 12-9Hoover Rodriguez 
Aug 30MILMIL 4-1Peralta Lamb 
Sep 4CINPPD   
Sep 5CIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Sep 5CIN 6:10 PM EDT  
Sep 6CIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Sep 18MIL 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 19MIL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 20MIL 2:10 PM EDT